The HAS RCH Lendület Long Reformation in Eastern Europe (1500-1800) Research Group in assocaiation with the Reformed Theological Academy of Sárospatak has organised a conference focussing on the so-called “Counter-Reformation without Bloodshed” of the eighteenth century. The conference took place February 7-8, 2019 in Sárospatak, Hungary.

The Hungarian historiography of the Reformation regarded this period almost as a second Reformation during which the Protestants of the newly liberated Hungarian territories had to endure religious persecution as they were subjects of the Catholic Habsburg emperor. Indeed, the conflicting relation and the lack of compromise between the Habsburg administration and the Hungarian estates, including the high ranking Calvinist and Lutheran Churchmen sustained a permanent tension throughout the eighteenth century. Furthermore the implemented church policy of Vienna overtly discriminated the non-Catholic communities in every possible way form exercising their religion to education or social promotion.

The conference commenced by revisiting the concept of “Counter-Reformation without Bloodshed” in order to establish a starting point for a scholarly discussion that intended to evaluate both Catholic and Reformed standpoints expressed not only by theologians and experts of ecclesiastical history, but literary historians, archivists and scholars of social history, too. The papers and the debates were structured in panels that have systematically covered all major aspects enriched by methodological and historiographical insights as well. While the opening debate reflected on the problematic aspect of the Counter-Reformation without bloodshed as one distinct period, the ensuing sessions provided further critical considerations regarding sources and the methodology of their uses, or opened up further comparative contexts relying on international examples and illustrations.

The edited collection was published in Hungarian in 2020: Vértelen ellenreformáció [Counter-Reformation without Bloodshed], ed. Dávid Csorba, Budapest, 2020.

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